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The Cost of Beautiful – Confession and Resolution

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Over the last year, I have gotten my nails done regularly. It began the day before my job interview for my W2 job and has continued up until a little over a month ago. Even though I knew I needed that money elsewhere, I regularly had them done.

I always justified it by saying, I need to have a good corporate image. I don’t spend money on make up or my hair, this is my treat. There was always a good excuse. At $40 a visit, it is no small cost when you go regularly!

When I lost my job in January, I did start going longer and longer between appointments, but I still didn’t stop. And as things have gotten tighter and tighter, I am more and more convicted by this type of “extra.”

Last week, I went to the nail salon to have the industrial strength nail polish removed. It cost me $10. And have since bitten my nails to the quick.

In reality, I don’t know if people even look at your hands. However, I’m on a computer all the time so I see them regularly. Between the job loss, financial instability, etc. well, this one more thing tipped me over the edge.

DIY Nails

I decided to do something about it. Wal-mart shopping it was. Last night, I went and bought the basic necessities for doing my own nails. I bought a file, nail trimmers, one bottle of clear polish and one bottle of color. Now, I will admit I bought a good brand, in hopes it won’t chip as quickly.

In the end, for less than the cost of one nail salon visit, I should be able to do my own nails for months.

A Long Way to Go

As proud as I am for how far I have come in the last four years, these little things still remind me that I have a LONG way to go in my relationship with money.

Here’s to all the DIY women out there making good financial choices especially in regards to our personal appearance and hygiene. Those costs can add up quickly if you are not careful.

What do you do for self care? How do you minimize the cost? Do you have a treat or splurge for yourself?


2017 Year In Review

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Happy New Year!

Sorry for the “radio silence” over here. We went back to Texas for a week-long visit over New Years and then immediately dove into work upon returning, so things have been chaotic. I’d intended to write up a Year In Review post before the turn of the new year, but better late than never, right?

I’ve now been blogging for nearly 4 years now (I started in March 2014). I cannot even believe it. A lot of life has occurred since that time! For previous years in review, see here:

(Apparently I didn’t do one for 2014??)

2015 year in review

2016 year in review

Here’s a peak at what 2017 looked like for us:

Hubs’ work and school

This year, hubs’ business was ramping down and he started back to school full time (earning straight A’s for two consecutive semesters! Boom!)

Financial

We set some pretty lofty financial goals (which we didn’t hit, for the first year since starting to blog here). Even though we had lots of setbacks and downright financial failures, the whole year wasn’t a bust. We did eliminate the last of our medical bills, closing the door on a scary chapter of our lives related to the medical debt (read here about hubs’ mystery illness of 2013). I also got a huge raise at my full-time job, though it required me to sign a non-compete so I also left my part-time job. The end result is that I actually make slightly less per year (due to loss of part-time income), though I’m happy with the trade-off because I was killing myself working 65+ hour/weeks for 2 years and knew I couldn’t continue forever that way. I make a little less, but I have a much happier, healthier, and more balanced life. Worth it, if you ask me.

Set-Backs

We’ve had a fair share of financial set-backs (and simple over-spending) this year. For one, we grossly underestimated our taxes and got hit hard in April. We also had some car issues: the power-steering went out at one point, we had a tire blowout on the highway, and had to replace other tires later, and we had to replace all our brake pads and rotors. General over-spending occurred, too, explained in some of the posts linked in “Life Happenings”, below.

Kids’ Crafts

The kids were up to their usual crafting shenanigans. I blogged about crafts we made for Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

Life Happenings

A major bummer is that we actually increased our credit card debt this year. By quite a bit, actually. I waxed poetic about my thoughts of increasing debt and facing the harsh reality here. To give some context to what’s been happening in “life” as our debt has increased, I had a virtual coffee date and told a tale of two sisters, where I did some over-sharing. 🙂 I also talked about my general outlook on the process of getting out of debt. After all, I’m 3.5-years deep at this point!

Overcoming Debt

In the past couple months, I’ve really gotten intentional about trying to make some hard changes in an effort to get things under control and eradicate our debt. I talked about making our own yogurt (instant pot edition), saving money by checking receipts, using the cash envelope system, cooking from scratch, doing bulk cooking, taking advantage of free museum day and free family races, and utilizing no spend week challenges as a way to tame our spending.

 

We’ve got a long way to go, there’s no doubt. But with the change of the calendar, I feel a fresh sense of renewal. Rebirth. Start-over. All that good stuff. I’ll be back soon with some tangible goals and action-steps for our financial plans in 2018 and beyond!


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